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Winnipeg-based lottery ticket printer Pollard makes $43-million bid for California company

Published by CME Manitoba on April 18, 2017

This article appeared in the Winnipeg Free Press on  April 18, 2017

Pollard Banknote Ltd. had formalized its $43 million unsolicited bid to acquire a California company that makes break-open lottery ticket vending machines.

But a special committee of the board of the company, Innova Gaming Group Inc., is recommending that its shareholders not accept the offer.

Pollard, a Winnipeg-based break-open lottery and scratch-lottery ticket printer, is offering $2.10 per share, a 36 per cent premium over Innova's share price over the 20 trading days ending March 9, 2017 when Pollard first made known its bid.

Innova's largest shareholder, Amaya Inc. which owns 41 per cent of the shares, has agreed to sell to Pollard.

Innova officials were unsuccessful in getting Pollard to sweeten the deal, so Innova's board has given its financial advisors a mandate to see if it can find a better deal through a process of "exploring and considering strategic alternative transactions that might be available to the company including, but not limited to, soliciting expressions of interest regarding an acquisition of all of the shares" according to a company release.

In a release, Innova's board urged shareholders "to defer making any decision in respect of Pollard Banknote's offer until the special committee and the board of directors have had the opportunity to fully review and evaluate such offer and to make a formal recommendation as to its merits."

For its part, Pollard said in a release it could not agree to terms with the Innova board and "as a result, Pollard Banknote has decided to make the offer directly to shareholders."

The offer stands until Aug. 3.

Since the offer was made public in mid-March, Innova's shares have increased in price and on Tuesday were trading around $2.20.

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